State of Alaska

Department of Administration

Alaska Public Offices Commission

Alaska Department of Administration, Alaska Public Offices Commission
Administration >  Alaska Public Offices Commission >  Filer Resources > Candidate Packet > Getting Started – Municipal Candidates

Getting Started – Municipal Candidates

2012 Municipal Elections

Please read this document carefully for important information about starting your campaign.

The 2012 elections are approaching and it is time for candidates and to set up procedures to comply with Alaska’s Campaign Disclosure Law.  This information is presented only as an overview of your disclosure requirements.  It is your responsibility and obligation to familiarize yourself and your campaign workers with the details of the disclosure law and to make sure that you file reports both on time and accurately completed. 

Please visit the APOC homepage for further information, to download forms, and to remain updated about your requirements and responsibilities as a candidate.

GETTING STARTED

Letter of Intent:  Must be filed with the APOC before any candidate engages in campaign activity.  A Letter of Intent allows the individual to campaign as if they were a candidate.  The date that a campaign may start is 18 months prior to the date of the Election.  However, if a candidate files a Declaration of Candidacy first, they do not need to file a Letter of Intent.

The Declaration of Candidacy:  Municipal candidates file their Declaration with their specific Municipal Clerk’s Office.  The Declaration of Candidacy is what gets a municipal candidate’s name on the ballot.  Check with your Municipal Clerk’s Office to find out when your filing period opens and closes.

Candidate Registration: Must be filed within 15 days following the filing of the Declaration of Candidacy at the Division of Elections. The registration provides your campaign contact information, designates your campaign committee, and your campaign depository.  Candidates may amend registrations as needed.  Until a candidate files their registration, designating a Treasurer or Deputy Treasurers, only the candidate may accept/expend campaign funds.

Public Official Financial Disclosure Statement:  Must be filed with the Declaration of Candidacy at the Municipal Clerk’s Office.  Some municipalities have opted out of the requirement of filing a Public Official Financial Disclosure Statement.  Check with your municipal clerk to be sure that you are complying with the requirements of your municipality.

Candidate Registration: Must be filed within 7 days following the filing of the Declaration of Candidacy at the Municipal Clerk’s Office. The registration provides your campaign contact information, designates your campaign committee, and your campaign depository.  Candidates may amend registrations as needed.  Until a candidate files their registration, designating a Treasurer or Deputy Treasurers, only the candidate may accept/expend campaign funds.

Municipal Exemption Statement: May be filed ONLY by municipal candidates that do not intend to exceed $5,000 in campaign activity, including any personal money that they may use.  So long as you remain under the $5,000 reporting limit (including your own money that you contribute to your campaign), this is the only form you are required to file with APOC.  While exempt municipal candidates are not required to file campaign disclosure reports, they are still subject to the laws that apply to candidates, including the requirement that ads, yard signs, and other campaign materials include “paid for by” identifiers as required under AS 15.13.090 and 2 AAC 50.306

Candidate Reimbursement Notification: If candidates loan personal funds to their campaign and intend to repay themselves at the end of the campaign, they MUST file a Candidate Reimbursement Form with the APOC within 5 calendar days of depositing personal funds into their campaign account. HOWEVER, if the candidate can reimburse their personal contributions from the campaign account within 72 hours they may; they do NOT then need to file the Reimbursement Form.  

START UP CONSIDERATIONS

Remember, only the candidate, a registered Treasurer or Deputy Treasurer may spend money on behalf of the campaign. From here out, any action by a Treasurer or registered Deputy Treasurer is considered an action of the candidate.

If a candidate uses personal funds to buy things for the campaign, they may be reimbursed by the campaign as long as reimbursement occurs within 72 hours of when the expenditure was made.  If a candidate uses personal money and wishes to repay that money at the end of their campaign, he/she must file a candidate reimbursement form with the Commission within five calendar days of using their personal money. 

PAID FOR BY IDENTIFIERS

Alaska Statute 15.13.090 and Regulation 2 AAC 50.306 require a paid for by disclaimer on all political communications.  For candidate campaigns it must consist of the words “paid for by” followed by the name and address of the candidate.  Fixing missing or incomplete paid for by disclaimers costs time and money for a campaign, and can result in civil penalties.

CIVIL PENALTIES

Civil penalties apply to candidates and groups who violate campaign disclosure law.  Violations include failure to file a campaign disclosure report on time or failure to file a complete and accurate campaign disclosure report.  Even if you are filing a report indicating that you have had no activity in that report period, you will be assessed a civil penalty if the report is late.  It is YOUR responsibility as the filer to familiarize yourself (and your campaign workers) with the campaign disclosure law requirements and reporting deadlines.  Initial penalties range from $10 to $50 a day for late reports. 

REPORT INFORMATION

Candidates and groups are required by law to periodically disclose information about their campaigns.  The purpose of a campaign disclosure statement is to provide a snapshot of a candidate or group’s activity during a specific reporting period. The reporting period is the time period covered by a campaign disclosure report.  A due date is the date when a report is due, and comes three days after the end of a reporting period.  The three days allows a treasurer time to complete the report.

The number of reports filed by municipal candidates will vary depending on when the campaign begins.  If candidates filed a Letter of Intent on or before February 1, 2012, they will begin with a year-start report, which will be due February 15, 2012.  Otherwise the cycle will begin with a 30 day report (due 30 days before the election), 7 day report (due 7 days before the election) and a 105 day report (which should be a final report and is due 105 days after the election).  In addition, during the 9 days before an election, candidates must report the contributor name and amount of all monetary and non-monetary contributions, from a single source, over $250 within 24 hours of the time they receive the contribution.  Candidates may need to report each day during that period, or not at all.  These 24 hour reports cannot be mailed!  To be filed timely they must be emailed, faxed, hand-delivered, or phoned in after hours.

Review the APOC Website for further reporting requirements.  This information is only meant to review the initial requirements of starting a campaign and to provide you with an overview of what you are required to file.  Do not hesitate to call APOC staff if you have questions.  Thank you!

Contact Information
apoc@alaska.gov

Anchorage Office
2221 East Northern Lights Blvd., #128, Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 276-4176 / Outside of Anchorage: (800) 478-4176
Fax: (907) 276-7018

Juneau Office
P.O. Box 110222 / 240 Main Street, #500, Juneau, AK 99811-0222
Phone :( 907) 465-4864 Fax: (907) 465-4832